Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Promising Practices

Explore strategies being implemented in prisons and jails around the country to reduce their use of restrictive housing.


Target Population

Facility Type



All Promising Practices for Alternatives to Segregation Responses

Active Filters: Alternatives to Segregation Responses

Congregate Classroom Programming/Activities

Washington State Department of Corrections

Diversion for people with SMI

Colorado Department of Corrections

Diversionary Treatment Units (DTUs)

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Incentive-based system in disciplinary segregation

Hampden County Correctional Center (HCCC)

Intensive Mental Health Unit

Maine Department of Corrections

Rehabilitation Housing Unit

Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Thomas J. Dart)

New procedures, intensive staff training, and programming enhancements formed the basis of a new initiative at the Cook County Jail, first called the Special Management Unit and now the Rehabilitation Unit.

Rehabilitative Diversion Unit

North Carolina Department of Public Safety/Prisons

Repurposing Segregation Units

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS)

Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) Pilot

Virginia Department of Corrections

Revised disciplinary policy

North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Security Threat Group Management Unit (STGMU)

North Carolina Department of Public Safety/Prisons

Special Needs Unit

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Pennsylvania DOC created Special Needs Units (SNUs) for people with physical, mental, emotional, or other vulnerabilities to receive additional services, support, and/or protection.

Step-Down Program

Hampden County Correctional Center (HCCC)

The Blue Room

Oregon Department of Corrections

The Challenge Program (TCP)

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS)

Therapeutic Diversion Units (TDU)

North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice

This Promising Practices section of the SAS Resource Center was developed as part of a collaborative effort with the Vera Institute of Justice, University of Michigan Law School, and Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. We are also deeply grateful to the many leaders across the country who created and implemented each of the reforms cited throughout this section for their efforts to reduce the use of restrictive housing in prisons and jails across the country.

Please note that Vera and our partners do not specifically endorse the practices and policies included in this section. The Promising Practices section features segregation reforms being implemented in prisons and jails around the country. Our goal is to serve as a resource to other jail and prison systems interested in implementing similar practices and policies by highlighting those jurisdictions that report successful reforms.